Brass is one of the most popular materials used for chandeliers and other forms of ceiling lights. They have a long history and have been used since ancient times for lanterns and lamps that held candles. Today, brass is still one of the most widely used materials, not just for light fittings, but also for a wide range of applications used in the home such as plumbing.
Let's take a look at why it's so popular and how you can take better care of your brass ceiling lights.
Brass is a metal alloy usually made of zinc and copper. The proportion of these elements vary from one brass to another and some other elements may also be added to the alloy for added characteristics.
It is preferred by many homeowners because it naturally has a bright and golden yellow sheen, which provides a lush and relaxing ambiance to any space.
It is also renowned for its durability - lasting for several generations; and its malleability - which allow manufacturers to mould it into many shapes, sizes, and designs.
Brass is also corrosion-free, making it the most ideal choice for homes in coastal areas. However, they do tend to accumulate dirt and oils easily, which means occasional upkeep is needed to lengthen the appeal of your brass chandeliers or fittings.
So how do you take care of your brass ceiling lights? Here are a few tips to keep them looking new again.
Before you begin to clean your chandelier, you have to determine if the metal is pure brass or brass plated. Simply bring a magnet to the metal: if the magnet sticks, then it's plated brass; if it doesn't, then it's genuine brass. Iron or steel are usually the metals that are plated with brass, and require a different guideline in terms of maintenance.
For the purpose of these recommendations, the tips mentioned here are meant for genuine brass ceiling lights.
Also here is another related article on: 5 Special Circumstances In Which Chandelier Cleaning Companies Will Save The Day
Old or antique brass fittings typically have no lacquer, while modern pieces are mostly coated with this protective material. Lacquer is coated over the metal alloy to prevent oxidation that lead to tarnishing. Lacquered brass chandeliers typically will not show rust but they do when the coating is cracked in one or more areas. When this happens, you'd have to remove the protective layer altogether to be able to reach the tarnished part of the chandelier.
Soaking the fitting in hot water is an ideal way of removing lacquer from brass. Once the coating has been removed, you can wipe it dry and polish it with commercial polishes.
Commercial brass polishes are easy to find in any hardware store. Simply dab a small amount on a piece of soft cloth, and polish the surface of the brass.
Home-made polishes are also easy to make. Cut a lemon in half, squeeze out the juice and mix with salt and baking soda until you create a paste. The acid in the lemon can help to remove tarnish and collected dirt. You can also use yoghurt, as its lactic acid component breaks down and dissolves tarnish. Coat the brass with yoghurt and let it dry. Rinse it off with water and pat dry with a clean cloth.
Make sure you remove the bulbs first before you start rubbing on the metal. However, do not over polish the brass.
Patina is the turquoise spot that forms on the surface of the brass, creating a unique look. It is used to indicate the age of the brass chandelier, its condition, as well as its value. Over polishing can remove the patina and alter its overall value.
Every once in a while, to avoid accumulated dirt, simply wipe the brass with a dry, soft piece of cloth. While brass is inherently low-maintenance, occasional cleaning can enhance its lifespan.
Brass ceiling lights, chandeliers and all other types of brass light fittings are fantastic pieces to add to your home - they're versatile, durable, low maintenance, and can last from generation to generation.